The points were shared in the young Robins’ EFL Youth Alliance fixture against Exeter City, after a 2-2 draw.
Rio Spencer opened the scoring, whilst Tom King was able to find an equaliser after two goals either side of the break from the visitors.
Jude Franks had to be alert from the beginning, rushing out to close down Theo Cutler after the Exeter forward received the ball on the edge of the six-yard box. Franks spread himself well, and managed to get a toe to the ball, sending it behind for a corner.
The Robins livened up after this early scare and were inches from taking the lead when Tom King stretched to beat the Exeter ‘keeper to Rio Spencer’s pass. The ball trickled agonizingly towards the empty net, but an Exeter defender somehow managed to scrape the ball clear.
Cheltenham didn’t have to wait much longer to find a breakthrough when Spencer pounced upon a loose ball in the penalty area. The forward struck the ball cleanly on the bounce, firing it into the top left corner.
Spencer could have had a second soon afterwards, after he won possession in the opposition half and gave the ball to Harry Tustin. The midfielder played the ball back into the feet of Spencer, who was now through on goal. Unfortunately, he scuffed his effort, dragging it wide of the post.
Shortly afterwards, it was Tustin that would have another dangerous opportunity. Freddie Wilcox carried the ball forwards before sliding a pass to Tustin, whose shot hit the side netting.
Franks was the next goalkeeper to be tested, getting down smartly to his left to deny Cunningham’s improvised effort on goal.
However, there was little Franks could do prevent Exeter’s equaliser. After Tom Spencer dragged down Theo Cutler, Tom Dean stroked his penalty into the bottom corner to restore parity.
After the break, the visitors took the lead. Substitute George Spencer threaded a low cross towards the six-yard box, leaving Cutler with an easy finish from close range.
With just a quarter of an hour to go, the Robins were able to find their own equaliser. Brandon Liggett’s free kick deceived the Exeter ‘keeper, leaving King with the easy job of tapping the ball into the empty net, setting up a grandstand finish.
Tom Spencer threw his body in front of Pedro Borges’ fierce shot to prevent his shot from hitting target, whilst the rest of the Robins’ defence stood firm in the face of a barrage of dangerous set pieces.
With the final play of the game, the Robins almost squeezed home a winner after another Liggett free-kick caused havoc in the Grecians’ box, but the Robins forwards couldn’t quite divert the ball into the net, with the final whistle following shortly.
Robins: Franks, Sambu (Shumba 86’), Wilkie, Liggett, Walters, T Spencer (C), Tustin (Bennison 35’), Wilcox, King, R Spencer
Not used: Simpson, Coleman, Dockree